- New home will be 18ft tall, compared to 10ft height of bungalow that was there
Homeowners have vented their fury as a humble bungalow is being replaced with a ‘monstrous’ newbuild that they have likened to an Amazon warehouse.
Mark and Julie Mills allegedly bought a small bungalow in Corfe Mullen, Dorset for £400,000 after the property’s elderly owner died last year.
The couple then applied for planning permission to build a four bedroom modern home in its place on Corfe View Road. The new home will be 18ft tall, compared to the 10ft height of the bungalow that was there, according to planning documents. It will have a flat roof, balcony and ‘full height’ windows.
Several residents and the local town council objected, claiming the development would be too overbearing and incompatible with the area. But to the horror of residents, planning chiefs at Dorset Council granted planning permission.
Now neighbours Terry and Margaret Selby, both 80, say they are confronted with the ‘monstrous’ development whenever they go into their back garden and allege they have lost four hours of sunlight each day because the two-storey home looms over their property, as well as several other bungalows.
Mr Selby, a retired floorlayer, slammed planning bosses for allowing the build and argued the building was more appropriate for the nearby millionaire’s playground of Sandbanks.
‘What were the council thinking?,’ he said. ‘There was a little bungalow just behind the hedge at the end of our garden and once the woman who lived there died, a planning application went in for a new building.
‘They have now built it and it’s monstrous, the sort of thing you’d expect to see on Sandbanks. It’s so horrendous and I’m so frustrated with Dorset Council. I asked them why they allowed it, but they didn’t reply.’
Mr Selby claims the building has ’caused a lot of stress’ for him and his wife, alleging it’s the only thing they see when they wake up each day.
‘It’s right in your face. We lose four hours of sunlight a day because it is so large it blocks out the sun,’ he explained.
‘It’s just a square block built from wood – but I think they’ll be putting cladding on it soon. The planning department seems to be in such a mess – how on earth could they let this go ahead?’
He and his wife Margaret moved into a property on the residential cul-de-sac 15 years ago and planned to retire in their ‘forever home’.
‘It was beautiful, we have lovely neighbours but what has been built here is horrendous,’ said Mrs Selby. ‘It looks like an Amazon warehouse.’
Neighbour Kay Jones, a school teacher, compared the building’s block-style to the Bibby Stockholm, the controversial migrant barge in nearby Portland Harbour.
She said she will have to grow trees and add blinds to protect her privacy as her new neighbours will be able to look into her bedroom.
She said: ‘The new house looks like the Bibby Stockholm barge. There will be a total lack of privacy I will now have to suffer from.
‘I have concerns I will have to spend an awful lot of money on blinds or trees to reduce the impact and feel like I’m living in a more private place.
Ms Jones added: ‘I’ve had sleepless nights where I wake up thinking about how to deal with it.’
There were four letters of objection to the development. Corfe Mullen Town Council and the Wimborne Civic society also opposed the plans.
Members of the town council said they feared the new home would be a ‘visually incongruous building’ that would ‘result in loss of natural light to neighbouring properties’ and would be ‘over development out of scale with neighbouring properties and surroundings in respect of its scale, bulk, height, and visual impact’.
They also felt that the planning application was ‘misleading and inadequate with limited information.’
The Wimborne Civic Society objected to the application for the same reasons.
A spokesperson for Dorset Council said the statutory 21-day consultation period to allow for objections was followed. They said they took local concerns on board but granted planning permission in April due to the need for housing.
They said: ‘In the light of concerns raised, the applicants submitted amended plans which reduced the scale of the proposed extensions.
‘Re-consultation on the amended plans was undertaken with new site notices displayed on 2 November 2022 and further comments were received.
‘The application was considered against local and national planning policies taking into account all material considerations raised by neighbours and the town council.
‘The application process followed all legislative and constitutional requirements. Officers judged that the revised extensions could be accommodated on the site and planning permission was granted on April 11, 2023.
‘We have been in communication with Mr Selby to explain the council’s position. The council will be monitoring compliance with the approved plans.’
The Design Board, who are the planning agents who submitted the plans on behalf of Mark and Julie Mills, has been approached for comment.
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